Ambrose Battles to First Career Sprint Cup Victory by Claiming Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen
On-Track Action makes Race worth the Wait Following Postponement on Sunday, August 14
Marcos Ambrose captured his first career Sprint Cup Series victory and became the fifth first-time victor in the series this season.
WATKINS GLEN, NY – Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Stanley Ford, took the checkered flag for Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen following a wild race on Monday afternoon. He passed Brad Keselowski in Turn 5 on the first lap of a green-white checkered finish to become the fifth first-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series this season, qualifying for the Sprint Summer Showdown. He had finished third or better in each of his previous four Cup starts at Watkins Glen International and won the Zippo 200 at The Glen NASCAR Nationwide Series each of the last three years.
“Just a dream day. The sacrifices you make, we all make to get here it’s hard and the whole team,” Ambrose said. “The Petty family, my family, to get here, to be a contender in the Cup Series, to finally get to Victory lane is a dream come true to me. I’ve traveled half way around the world, and I’ve dragged my kids and my wife with me, and I kept telling them I was good, but until you win the Cup Series you can’t really put that stamp on it. I’ve tried two and a half, two and a half years now to get to Victory Lane and I just have to thank Todd for giving me the chance.”
Keselowski’s second-place finish gave the driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge his first top-10 finish in four races at the historic road course while Kyle Busch garnered his sixth top-10 finish in seven races at WGI. With 15 laps to go, Busch maintained a three-second lead with Ambrose passing Keselowski for second-place.
“I wanted to win, but if I’m going to lose on a road course to someone, Marcos Ambrose is the man,” Keselowski said. “He’s so good on restarts and I thought we had a shot at it and that’s all you can ask for as a driver. …I’m proud of the finish. It was a good points day for us.”
With 49 laps led, Busch controlled the lead for a majority of the day, but the driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota could not hold it on the final restart on Lap 91 of 92. Busch is now tied with Carl Edwards after the No. 99 Aflac Ford finished ahead of 2011 Legend of The Glen Jeff Gordon in 12th. Gordon led six laps before falling to a 13th-place finish in his No. 24 DuPont/Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet.
The 26th running of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen was postponed from its original race date of Sunday, August 14, due to rain but the raced ended up being worth the wait. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race included a record-tying 14 lead changes among eight drivers. The event only featured five caution periods but involved some of the biggest names in the sport including Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin, resulting in them falling to sixth and 11th in the season standings respectfully.
Tickets for the final event of the 2011 season at legendary Watkins Glen International, the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, September 9-11, are on sale now! Don’t miss one of the largest vintage festivals in the country and see the cars that helped build the history of The Soul of American Road Racing. Fans can order their tickets or get more information by calling the WGI ticket office at 866.461.RACE (7223) or visiting the official website www.TheGlen.com. Keep up with the latest happenings at The Glen by visiting the official Watkins Glen International Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/watkinsgleninternational, and following WGI on Twitter, @WGI.